top of page

Though He Slay Me

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Psalm 22:1-2

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. Psalm 13:1-4

I confess to being in one of those places of doubt, dismay and creeping near despair with my faith. That sounds overly dramatic when put in print, but it’s just that disappointment and discouragement seem to dominate my circumstances in an absurd way lately, to the point of feeling like its a bit of denial to keep claiming “God’s sovereignty”, “God is good all the time” or “this is the most loving thing from God and I’ll see how it is so eventually.” Quite honestly, the cumulative effect is something like I imagine drip torture to be – each little drip not so devastating but evenually the victim just goes crazy.

I couldn’t sing our first songs at church yesterday, though I love them, because it just felt dishonest. I haven’t felt God’s faithfulness nor His rescue nor His help nor His hand in a real tangible way in a long while. But I have felt the brokenness, loneliness, woundedness, toil and futility of a broken world in the lives of those I love and the situations in which I have been placed. Even with my dangerously hardening heart, God met me in this place in one of the early songs. “God is good” sings that “He brought me out of darkness, God is good.” Cynically, I thought, “He brought me INTO darkness”. But even after that bitter yet honest rewording of the song, the words which followed were still “God is good.” And that may have been the subtle way God speaks the person and work of Jesus into my darkness. He brought Him into darkness, God is good.

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matt. 26:38

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” Matthew 27:45-48

Elijah would not save Him, and He would not be saved in the way those whose hearts died when their newly identified Lord was killed would have hoped. No relief was given in the garden of Gethsemene the night before. No rescue came on that cross and darkness covered the land.

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him… Job 13:15a

Jesus is the only one to actually be forsaken by God the Father. He is the only One to actually experience pure darkness, utter condemnation, absolute aloneness. He covered Himself in my shame, my despair, and my hopelessness. He was brought into darkness, because He is the only one who can be called “good”. Only because of His goodness could the darkness not get the last word, the defining paint stroke, nor the final ownership of the word “reality”.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Rom. 8:17

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. Col. 1:24

He brings me into darkness for His glory, which I am also invited to share. Like Job, seemingly unfair suffering strips from me the hopes (and assurance, confidence, peace, strength, joy) I look for in everything other than God alone. The wearisome disappointments, the painful wounds, the betrayals, the scandals and the fearful circumstances are only tastes of what Jesus entered into on my behalf and serve not to eradicate my faith but to eventually strengthen it. He dismantles my self-serving faith to rebuild a deeper, purer more entirely grace dependent faith which does not just trust in theory, but trusts whole heartedly in the One who is creater, sustainer, redeemer and Father over me and all of creation.

I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:2-5

I do look forward to a day when my faith will be sight. For now, I am still filled with doubts and fear and sorrow. But for today, I will go where the Psalms quoted above ended:

But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me. Psalm 13:5

For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help…All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lordand he rules over the nations…They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it. Psalm 22:24,27-28, 31

Recent Posts

See All

There is Life

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  Joh

God Fills

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 “May God fill”, the God of hope, it is the Go

The Toxic Nature of a Meritocracy

And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?”  1 Sam. 6:20 Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this hol

bottom of page